Minister for Health has washed his hands of increased registration fees for Nurses and Midwives - Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin’s Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has spoken out against the €50 increase in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland’s (NMBI) registration fee.
Speaking on a day when up to 2,000 nurses and midwives protested outside the headquarters of the NMBI in Blackrock, the Sinn Féin Deputy said:
“The work undertaken by nurses and midwives is clearly of great importance and they are labouring under enormous strain, particularly given the extra demands on their health services due to the reduction in numbers of nurses and Ireland's high birth rate. I have previously asked Minister Varadkar to address this situation but was furnished with what can only be described as a lacklustre response.
“I note that the increase represents an 80% increase over the past two years. I also recognise that the annual registration fee for other allied health professionals is set at €100 and is not being reviewed at this time. The Minister for Health has washed his hands of this situation and simply said that the Department has no role in setting or approving registration fees. It is, however, answerable to the Oireachtas and I urge the Minister to exercise his considerable influence in this matter.
“I support the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Siptu and the Psychiatric Nurses Association in their stance and will continue to press the Minister to take a role in the setting and approving of registration fees. If the Minister feels further legislation is required, so that acceptable levels of registration charges can be ensured, I urge him to introduce this legislation without delay.
“I also call on the Board to leave the fee at the existing level so that our hardworking nurses and midwives do not have to deal with even further exacting financial strains on top of all they already have to contend with” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.